The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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on their children, as well as the sins of the fathers."

        Three sons were born to this couple in Warren County, N. C.: John, Braxton and Thomas.

        John Bragg, born 1808, died 1878, was born in Warrenton. His father, though in moderate circumstances, afforded him every advantage of education. He was sent to the best schools in the country, and to the University, where he graduated in the same class of 1824 with William A. Graham, Matthias E. Manly, David Outlaw and others. Many of these subsequently attained the highest positions in the State, as these sketches prove. He studied law with Hon. Edward Hall, son of Judge John Hall, and practiced with great success for five years. He was elected a member of the House of Commons in 1830, and by successive elections until 1835. In the latter year he was appointed by General Jackson a member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Soon after this he removed to Mobile, Ala. During the Presidential canvass of 1836 he was associate editor of the Mobile Register. As a polemical writer, he possessed great power, and acquired influence and reputation as a journalist. So competent an authority as Colonel Forsyth pronounced him "without any superior as a political writer in the State of Alabama." In 1837 and until 1840 he was the attorney for the Bank of Mobile, and in 1842 he was appointed, by Governor Fitzpatrick, judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit; afterward he was elected to this position by the Legislature over Gen. George W. Crabb. At the expiration of his term of office (six years) he was unanimously reelected by the same body. During the time, however, the election of judges was transferred from the Legislature to the people. Although it was well known that Judge Bragg was decidedly averse to the innovation, and stood aloof from the canvass, the people elected him by a large majority over Aaron B. Cooper, of Monroe.

        As a judge, he was considered austere and unbending. Rigidly upright in his own conduct, he was unsparing to any attempt at fraud or chicanery. His virtues were of the Roman type.

        In 1851 the Democratic party had become sadly disorganized in the Mobile district, and in order to harmonize the contending factions, which his non-interference in active politics enabled him to effect, he consented to be a candidate for Congress, and was elected by a majority of nearly 2,000 votes over Hon. C. C. Langdon. He served during only one session in Congress, positively declining a re-election. He felt that there was such a decadence of public integrity and personal virtue at Washington, as compared with the days of Macon, who was his model of a statesman, that "the post of honor was a private station."

        Retiring from all professional as well as political pursuits, he did not appear again in public affairs till his election to the Constitutional Convention of 1861, as the representative from Mobile County. Disqualified by age and former pursuits from military service, he remained on his farm in Lowndes County during the war. There (April 12, 1865) he was subjected to the grossest personal indignities, his farm wantonly destroyed, and his dwelling burned over the heads of his wife and children by the troops of General Wilson. He moved to Mobile, where he died on August 10, 1878.

        He married a sister of Dr. William R. Hall, of Lowndes County, Ala. His brother, Captain William Bragg, of Wilcox County, died in the Confederate army. His distinguished brother, Thomas Bragg, (born November 9, 1810, died January 21, 1872,) was a native of Warren County, son of Thomas and Margaret Bragg. His education began at the Warrenton Academy, with such teachers as Geo. W. Freeman, afterward Bishop of Arkansas, and Bishop Otey, of Tennessee, and was completed at the Military Academy at Middletown, Conn., under Captain Allen Partridge, where he remained nearly three years. He then commenced the study of the law under Judge John Hall, and after obtaining his license he settled in Jackson, Northampton County, N. C., where he practiced his profession with brilliant success. In 1842 he was elected a member of the House of Commons, where he took a high position, and was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. In 1854 he was elected Governor of the State by the Democratic party, over that veteran politician, Gen. Alfred Dockery, and was re-elected, in 1856, over that excellent and able statesman, John A. Gilmer. In 1858-59 he was elected Senator in Congress, which he resigned in 1861, when his State withdrew from the Union.

        On February 22, 1862, when the Confederate Government was organized at Richmond, Mr. Davis tendered Governor Bragg the position of Attorney-General. This high duty he performed with great ability until 1863, when he was succeeded by Hon. George Davis. He returned to his profession; but the vicissitudes of the war made a deep impression on his mind. In the summer of 1870, when civil liberty and private
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